A key part of understanding the importance of detached kelp in deep sea habitats is measuring how it influences the community. Half of the ship is hard at work on this question.
The trawl crew have been collecting fish, shrimps, and other invertebrates from our study area using beam and otter trawls. Data on the total biomass, age, length and number of species will be used to understand the community composition.
Information from gut contents and stable isotopes can help us figure out what they are feeding on. Our goal is to track how energy derived from kelp moves upwards through trophic levels, from tiny detritus feeders to larger fish.
These data will be used by the third and fourth work package to construct a benthic food web for the Malangen study system that we can use to test impacts of changes in kelp influx on the community.
We also caught dinner! Fresh halibut. Thanks trawl team.